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Anadolu Agency: News in English, 99-11-25

Anadolu Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Anadolu Agency Home Page at <http://www.anadoluajansi.gov.tr/>


[01] AA Daily

25 November 1999 Thursday

[02] TURKEY-PRESS SCAN

These are some of the major headlines and their brief stories in Turkey's press on November 25, 1999. The Anadolu Ajansi does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their occuracy.

HURRIYET (LIBERAL)

QUAKE SURVIVORS TO BE SHELTERED IN HOTELS
Leaders of three political parties forming coalition government, discussed quake survivors's difficult conditions. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said that the quake survivors would be settled in hotels in Bolu province to protect them from bad weather conditions.

SUPREME COURT OF APPEALS TO ANNOUNCE ITS VERDICT ABOUT OCALAN
The Supreme Court Criminal Department No:9 will announce its verdict about the appeal of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, later today. The court session will start at 9.15 a.m. Demirel Tavil, the chief judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals, will announce the verdict. The court session is expected to finish in a short period of time. The Ankara State Security Court (DGM) No: 2 had sentenced Ocalan to capital punishment on charges of ''acting to separate one part of the Turkish territory from state sovereignty by administrating the terrorist organization PKK'' under Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code. The lawyers of the suspect Ocalan had appealed the verdict of the court by requesting application of the Article 59 of the Turkish Penal Code which envisages reduction in punishment.

MAGICIAN DAVID COPPERFIELD IN TURKEY
David Copperfield, who is described as the ''greatest magician of the world, '' arrived in Istanbul from Johannesburg, South Africa together with his parents Hyman Kotkin and Rebecca Kotkin. Copperfield will participate in the opening of ''Mydonose Showland'' which will be set up near Ataturk Airport between 25-29 November and perform his show of ''Journey of a Lifetime'' and his ''flying'' show on which he has been working for seven years.

MILLIYET (LIBERAL)

DEATH TOLL INCREASES TO 749
The Prime Ministry Crisis Management Center stated that 749 people were killed while 4,948 others were injured in the wake of the 7.2-magnitude quake which devastated Bolu province on November 12. A total of 4,858 dwellings and 1,025 business places collapsed or suffered heavy damages in the quake. Meanwhile, 32,677 tents have been erected in the disaster- stricken area so far.

VERHEUGEN: ''I AM HOPEFUL ABOUT HELSINKI SUMMIT''
Gunter Verheugen, the member of the European Union (EU) Commission responsible for the enlargement, expressed satisfaction over Turkey's progress prior to EU's Helsinki Summit in December. He said that he was hopeful about announcement of Turkey's candidacy to the EU at Helsinki Summit.

SABAH (LIBERAL)

FIVE OFFICIAL OF RED CRESCENT ARRESTED
The investigation into the awning tender of the Red Crescent, was finalized. Five officials including Ahmet Kalkanoglu, the former Secretary General of the Red Crescent, were arrested, They were sent to Ankara Central Prison.

COTTARELLI DEPART TURKEY
Carlo Cottarelli, the Chief of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Turkey Desk, left for New York. The IMF delegation headed by Cottarelli, had held talks with high-level Turkish officials for more than a month.

CUMHURIYET (LEFT)

FIRST STEP FOR THE BLUE STREAM PROJECT
Russian Gazprom company signed the necessary agreements concerning the construction of Blue Stream natural gas pipeline's 380 kilometers part that will pass over Black Sea bed. The construction of the Blue Stream's sea part will be composed of building the Beragovaya compressor station and of the pipeline which will reach 2150 meters in depth. The agreement will enter into force after implementation of certain conditions. One of these conditions is signing a protocol by Turkey and Russia about the issue of tax exemption and the protocol's approval by their internal laws. Rem Vyahiriyev, the President of Gazprom said that a ''special protocol'' will be signed with Turkey next month.

RADIKAL (LEFT)

KARAYILAN REQUESTS ASYLUM FROM NETHERLANDS
Murat Karayilan, one of top members of the terrorist organization PKK, requested asylum from the Netherlands. The spokesman of the Dutch Justice Ministry confirmed the asylum application. Karayilan did not obey Abdullah Ocalan's call to lay down arms and withdraw from Turkey.

NSC DISCUSSES SITUATION OF QUAKE SURVIVORS
The National Security Council (NSC) discussed measures taken after quake disaster which devastated Bolu province and surroundings on November 12. The NSC has decided to exert effort to provide healthier shelters for quake survivors who are still living in tents.

TURKEY BECOMES MEMBER OF IMO
Turkey was elected as a member of the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) with 76 votes of 126 member countries in its 21st general assembly. Turkey's membership to the Council gave Turkey a powerful place in the IMO which discusses several issues that closely interest Turkey like the crossing regulations for the Turkish Straits.

TURKIYE (RIGHT)

100 SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
Tens of thousands of quake survivors are trying to protect themselves against bad weather conditions. 1,800 families have been settled in prefabricated huts constructed by the Public Works and Housing Ministry. Private organizations have handed over 1,500 prefabricated huts so far. In the quake-stricken region, 73 thousand people are struggling against freezing cold in their tents.

TURKISH SHIPS IN TRNC
The Naval Forces' ships which participated in Toros-99 Maneouvres, arrived in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The ships can be visited by the Turkish Cypriots. The ships will leave the TRNC on November 27, 1999.

ZAMAN (CONSERVATIVE)

COALITION PARTNERS DISCUSS CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
Leaders of three political parties forming coalition government, evaluated the possible impacts after the Supreme Court's decision about Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization PKK.

Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry issued a decree, and urged against possible riots in prisons after the appeal hearing of Ocalan which will be held later today.

WINTER BEGINS IN QUAKE-STRICKEN REGION
Tents where the quake survivors have taken shelter, were inundated by the torrential rains in Duzce county of Bolu province which was devastated by 7.23-magnitude earthquake on November 12. As quake survivors tried to empty flood waters in their makeshift shelters, soldiers dug canals around the tents. The tent-cities in Karacayir, Saglik, Kavaklik, Sumer, and Karamanli districts of Bolu province were flooded by torrential rains.

[03] RELATIVES OF TERRORISM VICTIMS WELCOME VERDICT ABOUT OCALAN

ANKARA, Nov 25 (A.A) - Relatives of terrorism victims and martyrs welcomed approval of capital punishment given to Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, on Thursday.

Demirel Tavil, the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court Criminal Department No: 9, announced on Thursday morning that they had upheld death sentence of the Ankara State Security Court (DGM) No: 2 against Ocalan.

After announcement of the verdict, relatives of terrorism victims and martyrs, expressed profound satisfaction over the verdict.

Emotions among relatives of terrorism victims run extremely high.

They set a picture of Ocalan alight, and chanted slogans as ''murderer of the millennium'', ''martyrs never die, homeland cannot be separated'', ''the Republic will exist forever'', and ''degenerated vampire''.

They also called on parliament to approve the execution.

Addressing relatives of martyrs, Sevket Can Ozbay, one of the intervenor lawyers, said, ''martyrs sacrificed their lives for the sake of this country. One carrying Turkish blood in his veins, cannot want amnesty for Ocalan. Now, our only wish is the parliament to approve the execution of Ocalan.''

Meanwhile, the relatives of martyrs who marched towards the Mausoleum of Ataturk, the Founder of modern Republic of Turkey, chanted, ''Turkey is proud of you'' as they were passing by the Office of General Staff.

[04] LEADERS SUMMIT ENDS

ANKARA, Nov 25 (A.A) - Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said on Wednesday night that the meeting among leaders of three political parties forming the coalition government, had focused on the human rights, adaptation laws, and talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Addressing journalists after the meeting which lasted 5 hours and 20 minutes, Ecevit said that he had briefed the leaders of coalition partners about the resolutions taken at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Istanbul last week.

Ecevit noted that Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik, the State Minister, had given information about his works on the issue of human rights.

He indicated, ''as you know, a constitutional amendment has been made regarding the international arbitration. The adaptation laws regarding the constitutional amendment should be pass by parliament. I briefed leaders of the coalition partners about the recent developments on preparation of these laws. Leaders were also briefed about the meetigs with the IMF.''

Ecevit told reporters that the latest developments regarding the earthquake disaster, were also discussed at he meeting.

He pointed out that quake survivors would be settled in hotels in Bolu province to protect them from bad weather conditions.

When asked about appeal hearing of Aboullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization PKK, Ecevit said, ''it is too early to talk about the issue.''

Selcuk Demiralp, the Undersecretary of Treasury, and Gazi Ercel, the Director General of the Central Bank, were also in attendance at the meeting.

[05] REASONED RATIFICATION VERDICT

ANKARA, Nov 25 (A.A) - The Supreme Court Criminal Department No: 9 ruled on Thursday that capital punishment given to Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, by the Ankara State Security Court (DGM) No: 2 was fair.

Demirel Tavil, the Chief Judge of the Supreme Court Criminal Department No: 9, and the court delegation formed by Serif Erol, Suleyman Erkan, Fatma Yuksek Karadeli, and Ahmet Sukru Dagli, unanimously approved the capital punishment given to Abdullah Ocalan.

Lawyers of the accused Ocalan, lawyers of intervenors, and representatives of the international organizations were allowed to attend the court hearing as spectators.

The Supreme Court Criminal Department No: 9 also finalized its reasoned verdict which is composed of 37 pages.

In the introduction part, the verdict of the Ankara DGM No:2 about accused Ocalan, was recalled.

The reasoned verdict stressed that the Ankara DGM was authorized to carry out the trial. It added that the combining of the files was not against the law.

The Supreme Court Criminal Department No: 9 underlined that the allegations claiming that administration had affected the court in the trial, were baseless and not true.

In the reasoned verdict, it was noted, ''accused Ocalan was the founder of the terrorist organization PKK. The organization was founded with the aim to separate some part of the Turkish territory from state sovereignty, and to establish an independent and separate state based on the Marxist- Leninist ideology.

The evidences have showed that accused Ocalan gave orders and directions to members of the terrorist organization PKK to stage a number of armed attacks, bombed attacks, sabotages, armed robberies, and massacres of thousands of civilians, soldiers, policemen, village guards, and public workers.''

[06] REASONED RATIFICATION VERDICT

ANKARA, Nov 25 (A.A) - The reasoned verdict of the Supreme Court Criminal Department No: 9 about Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, briefed about formation of PKK and its actions.

In the reasoned verdict, it was noted, ''Abdullah Ocalan have encountered armed violence, given tactics to members of the terrorist organization PKK, criticized and punished those who did not obey his orders, with his decisions, orders, directions, speeches at congresses and conferences, statements in radio and television programmes since the day when he founded the terrorist organization PKK, and directed it with the code name of 'APO'. Members of the terrorist organization PKK have raided villages, staged bomb and armed attacks, sabotages, suicide attacks, armed clashes with security forces, and massacres of thousands of civilians, soldiers, policemen, village guards, and public workers.''

The reasoned verdict indicated, ''the terrorist organization PKK staged a total of 6,036 attacks, 3,071 bomb-attacks, 388 extortions, and 1,046 abductions between 1987 when it was founded, and February 2, 1999 when the accused was captured in Kenya. A total of 4,472 civilians, 3,874 soldiers, 247 policemen, 1,225 village guards were killed while 5,620 civilians, 8, 178 soldiers, 909 policemen, and 1,655 village guards were wounded in these incidents.''

The reasoned verdict stressed, ''there is no doubt that each of these actions which were carried out by the PKK with the orders of the accused, are absolute terrorist actions targetting innocent civilians, as it was accepted by the national and international law.''

[07] REASONED VERDICT

ANKARA, Nov 25 (A.A) - The reasoned verdict of the Supreme Court Criminal Department No: 9 about Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, said that the accused had accepted responsibility of incidents which claimed casualties.

The reasoned verdict recalled that suits filed against Ocalan on charges of ''acting to separate one part of the Turkish territory from state sovereignty by administrating the terrorist organization PKK'' were combined by the Ankara State Security Court (DGM) No: 2. In his testimony on February 22, 1999, Ocalan confessed that he had founded the terrorist organization PKK, and headed the organization, and started an armed struggle on Turkish territories with the aim of establishing a Kurdish state. Ocalan said in his testimony that he had come to a conclusion to unite Kurdish people as a nation which played an important role in foundation of the Republic of Turkey, and provide them to live together as a nation gained its economical, social, political, and cultural freedom, instead of founding a separate Kurdish state.''

The reasoned verdict also gave place to Ocalan's speeches in different occasions, ''addressing a television programme on the MED-TV, the broadcast organ of the terrorist organization PKK, on December 13, 1998, the accused said, 'do not sacrifice yourselves, but punish those who want to destroy you'. In other programmes again on the MED-TV on December 25, 1998 and on June 18, 1998, the accused talked about suicide attacks, and the village guards. In his testimony, the accused said, 'PKK had concentrated on attacks against civilians in 1987. I do not approve such attacks. I struggled to prevent these attacks, but could not succeed in. I opposed attacks on civilians staged by Semdin Sakik, Kor Cemal, Sahin Balic, and Cemil Isik who seized the administration of the organization.''

The reasoned verdict quoted Ocalan as saying in his testimony, ''I declared cease-fire after meeting with Jalal Talabani, one of the Northern Iraqi leaders. Financial sources of the organization were formed mainly by the donation collected in Europe. We gathered weapons abandoned in the region after the Gulf War. We bought some of them in return for money. Several countries assisted us to this end. We set up the MED-TV to make propaganda of the PKK. The PKK did not smuggle drug, but some officials of the PKK collected money from drug traffickers. I supported foundation of a Kurdish parliament in exile. The PKK was organized as party, army, and front.''

The reasoned verdict added, ''on October 9, 1998, Ocalan came to Greece from Syria together with Rozalin Ayfer Kaya. After Greece which supported the PKK, did not grant Ocalan political asylum, Ocalan and Kaya proceeded to Moscow. Although the Duma allowed him to stay in Russia, he had to leave Russia after Russian Prime Minister's opposition. Ocalan went to Italy upon the invitation of several Italian deputies. He left Italy on January 16, 1999 after Italy did not grant him political asylum as well. He returned to Moscow once again. As a result of Moscow's negative attitude, he departed Russia on January 29, 1999 by an airplane which belonged to the Greek secret service. The Greek officials forced him to go to Kenya. Greece's relations with the terrorist organization PKK, were similar to the Syria's relations. Greece's relations with the PKK started when Badovas and Nagazakis had visited Ocalan in Lebanon in 1988. In 1999, the PKK opened several camps in Greece. Young members of the organization were receiving ideological training in Lavrion camp. Meanwhile, in Dimitri Elen camp, PKK members were trained on production of bombs. The terrorist organization PKK was supported financially by the civilian institutions, churches, and trade unions in Greece. The PKK had a hospital in Urumiah in Iran. There were PKK camps in border region between Iran and Iraq. The organization had representations in Armenia, and in Germany.''

The reasoned verdict indicated, ''the accused noted that Europe had used himself against Turkey. He noted that Europe which frequently talks about the human rights, caused bloodshed in Turkey by using him. He condemned Europe which granted hundreds of thousands of Kurdish people political asylum, but did not provide the same opportunity to him.''

The reasoned verdict noted, ''the accused confessed that the PKK had publications in different countries such as Serxwebun, Free Policy (Ozgür Politika) and Free Agenda (Ozgür Gündem). He also accepted that his writings were published in these publications with the code name of Ali Firat.''

[08] REASONED VERDICT

ANKARA, Nov 25 (A.A) - The reasoned verdict of the Supreme Court about Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, briefed about the identity of accused Ocalan.

Supreme Court said that not implementing the Article 59 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) foreseeing the reduction of punishment was appropriate.

In the part of the reasoned verdict in which the evidence was evaluated, the objections of Ocalan's lawyers that ''there is no report of arrest'' was rejected by the Supreme Court since it is not considered as influential in the verdict.

The verdict said that doctors said in their medical reports that they did not see any sign of torture or maltreatment in the physical controls.

Ocalan said in the court that he was not subjected to torture, maltreatment, or bad remarks since he was captured, the reasoned verdict recalled.

The evidences on which the decision was based, were listed in the verdict as follows:

''- the instructions that the accused gave to encourage the armed violence, to show a target for the attacks, to encourage the suicide attacks, to lay landmines on the roads, to try to urge civilian people to stage attacks and to punish those who left the organization,

- the statements of the accused in television and various press organs,

- the decisions of the sixth congress of the terrorist organization PKK saying, ''we will spread the war throughout Turkey'',

- the statements of Fethi Demir, Alaattin Kanat, Semdin Sakik, Mehmet Yamac, Halit Celik, Aysun Inan, Nurettin Anyig, Fadil Isik, Serbest Turan, Hakki Kitay, Ahmet Yasar and Mazlum Kartal saying that the accused set up, and ruled the organization, and trained the members of the organization, and gave instrutions for attacks.

- the instructions for attacks and the reports about the talks through the transceivers,

- the authopsy reports about the persons who were killed,

- the statements of the accused regarding the organization and attacks which were published in Serxwebun,

- the cassettes with the instructions aiming at violence,

- the statement of the accused in the panel discussion which was held on December 15, 1999 saying, ''we will turn Turkey into a hell by the measures we will take,''

- the reports and sketches of the scene,

- the documents regarding that many militants were punished under the Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) and being the member of the PKK and that their verdicts became definite,

- the petitions and testimonies of the intervenors,

- the establishment document, programme, regulation, and decisions taken in the congress of the PKK,

- the Serxwebun maganize published on February 1996 and June 1997,

- the testimony of the accused and the history of PKK,

- the photocopy of the book titled ''Thesis and Tasks on the Rebellion Tactics'' which was written by the accused,

- the path and manifest of the Kurdish revolution,

- the establishment of MED TV, the broadcasting licence, the broadcasting policy, finance, periodical, and annual developments, the broadcasts of the MED TV which encourages terrorism, MED TV Dossier including the calls for attacks which was broadcast on MED TV following the capture of Ocalan.''

The reasoned verdict said that Ankara State Security Court (DGM) had said in the court session that the accused was the founder and the top member of the illegal organization titled PKK which was set up to establish a Kurdish state based on Marxist-Leninist ideology by seperating a part of the territory of the state of the Republic of Turkey.

The accused had accepted that he was responsible for killing and injuring thousands of citizens, soldiers, policemen, village guards, and public officials in armed and bomb attacks, the verdict recalled.

The reasoned verdict noted that the Ankara DGM had sentenced Ocalan to capital punishment under the Article 125 of the TCK.

The verdict added that the Supreme Court had decided that the Article 59 of the TCK cannot be implemented for Ocalan by taking into consideration that that the attacks were so much and that many innocent people without taking into consideration that they were babies, children, women, or elderly, were killed.

[09] REASONED VERDICT

ANKARA, Nov 25 (A.A) - The reasoned verdict of the Supreme Court Criminal Department No: 9 about Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, said that the PKK was a terrorist organization.

In the ''Jurisdictional Evaluation'' part of the reasoned verdict, it was pointed out that it was necessary to evaluate Article 3 and 14 of the Constitution together with the Article Article 125 and 168 of the Turkish Penal Code in the case of Ocalan.

Referring to the Article 3 and 14 of the Constitution, the reasoned verdict noted, ''protection of Turkish people's independence and unity, and country's integrity was among the state's main targets and duties in accordance with the Constitution. The international agreements do not allow actions targeting unity of state, country, and nation.''

The reasoned verdict indicated, ''the Article 11 of the European Human Rights Charter which was also signed by Turkey, says, 'any kind of limitation which is not envisaged by law, cannot be made in using the human rights except for targets of national security, public security, prevention of crimes and disorder, and protection of public health and public morals.' This Article cannot prevent the Armed Forces, the Directorate General of Security, and members of the public administration from making legal limitations. The Article 17 of the European human Rights Charter says, 'any verdict in this charter cannot be commented as allowing any states, groups, or persons to destroy rights and freedoms.' Meanwhile, the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) gave place to principles of 'respect for the participant countries sovereignty, and equality', 'abstaining from threats or violence', 'inviolability of borders', 'territorial integrity of states', 'peaceful solution of disputes', 'abstaining from intervening in domestic affairs'. In the 'Security' part of the Paris Charter, it was envisaged, 'we are determined to cooperate to defend democratic institutions against activities targeting the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of states. Illegal actions, including foreign pressure, violence, and destructiveness, were also included in these activities. We consider terrorist actions as a crime, and condemn them. We are also determined to cooperate to eradicate these activities.''

''The declaration which was issued at the end of the World Human Rights Conference in Vienna between June 14-15, 1993, any action aiming at destroying a sovereign and independent state, territorial integrity and political unity of countries, was not allowed. The European Human Rights Court described the PKK as a terrorist organization resorting to violence to reach its targets during the Leyla Zana case. The European Human Rights Court also indicated that PKK har staged bloody attacks on civilians in southeastern Turkey,'' the verdict added.

[10] REASONED VERDICT

ANKARA, Nov 25 (A.A) - The reasoned verdict said the conferences and agreements, adopted by contemporary world nations, accepted that PKK, which Ocalan was the founder, was a terrorist organization.

The verdict recalled that Article 128 of TCK defined the actions targetting splitting up the integrity of the country and nation. It said article also included the provision, ''any person who aim at giving some or whole of the territories under the sovereignty of this state to the sovereignty of another country, inverting independence of this state, or holding acts aiming to split its unity, and separate some of the territories which are under the ruling of this state, will be punished with death sentence.'' It said Article 168 of TCK says, ''whoever forms an armed gang or lead such a gang to commit crimes written in Articles 125, 131, 146, 147, 149, and 156, that one will be given imprisonment terms that is not below 15 years. This sentence can be increased to imprisonment terms not less than 22 years and 6 months because the 5th Article of the Struggle Against Terorrism Law is being applied in the terrorist crimes.''

The reasoned verdict noted that Article 125 of TCK included: ''The person who commits an act to bring a part of whole of the state's territories under the hegemony of a foreign state, or to separate from the independence of the state, or to disrupt the unity, or to separate some part of the territories under the sovereignty of the state, will be punished with death sentence.'' It said ''the perpetrator of the crime in Article 125 of TCK is the ''person''. To this end, this crime is not needed to be committed by a Turkish citizen. It is possible that foreigners may commit this crime.''

The reasoned verdict took up the actual and moral elements of the crime as:

''Actual aspect of the crime:

-actions aimed at bringing a part of whole of the state's territories under the hegemony of a foreign state,

-actions aimed at diminishing independence of the state,

-actions disrupting the unity of state,

-actions aimed at separating some part of the territories under the sovereignity of the state.

Moral elements of the crime is the general intention.

For the formation of the crime in the article, it should be directed to the action.

Action that is directed is;

-To bring a part of whole of the state's territories under the hegemony of a foreign state,

-To diminish independence,

The reasoned verdict said Article 168 of TCK said any person who committed mentioned crimes after forming armed gang, will not be tried under Article 168, and that he will be tried from that crime. It said, ''accused Ocalan gave orders and directions to members of the terrorist organization PKK to stage a number of armed attacks, bombed attacks, sabotages, armed robberies, and massacres of thousands of civilians, soldiers, policemen, village guards, and public workers.''

[11] REASONED VERDICT

ANKARA, Nov 25 (A.A) - The reasoned verdict of the Supreme Court Criminal Department No: 9 about Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, said, ''the Article 168 of the Turkish Penal Code cannot be implemented for the accused. The Article 168 is about the crime of forming armed gang and it envisages 15 years of imprisonment terms.''

The reasoned verdict stressed, ''the terrorist organization PKK which was founded and headed by the accused, acts to separate one part of the Turkish territory from state sovereignty with the aim of establishing an independent Kurdish state. To this end, PKK's actions jeopardize territorial integrity of the country.''

''The terrorist organization PKK staged attacks with orders and directions of the accused. Therefore, the Article 168 of the Turkish Penal Code cannot be implemented for the accused. The Article 168 is about the crime of forming armed gang and it envisages 15 years of imprisonment terms,'' the reasoned verdict noted.

It added, ''it is also legal not to implement the Article 59 of the Turkish penal Code envisaging reduction of punishment in the case of Ocalan.''

The ''Verdict'' part of the 37-page reasoned verdict is briefly as follows:

''The collected proofs have showed that the accused had given orders and directions to separate one part of the Turkish territory from state sovereignty, and to establish an independent and separate state by administrating the terrorist organization PKK. His defense was rejected in regard to convincing reasons. The Supreme Court Criminal Department No: 9 has ruled that the capital punishment given to Ocalan by the Ankara State Security Court (DGM) No: 2 was fair. The Supreme Court Criminal Department No: 9 decided unanimously on November 22, 1999 to approve the capital punishment given to Abdullah Ocalan.''

[12] U.S. PRESIDENT CLINTON SAYS IMPROVEMENT RECORDED BETWEEN TURKEY AND GREECE

WASHINGTON D.C., Nov 25 (A.A) - U.S. President Bill Clinton said on Thursday that improvement has been marked between Turkey and Greece.

Clinton told reporters that they have recorded improvement in the relations between Turkey and Greece which also include improvement in Turkey's membership process to the European Union (EU).

Referring to the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project, Clinton noted that he thinks that the pipeline is a significant guarantee for all the democracies including the U.S..

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said in a press conference that Clinton had the opportunity to have friendly and warm relations with her NATO allies Turkey and Greece.

Albright noted that significant resolutions were taken in the end of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit.

Albright listed starting the Cyprus talks, the signing of the agreement on the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project among these significant resolutions.

[13] PM ECEVIT: ''NOBODY CAN DOUBT ABOUT THE FAIRNESS OF TRIAL PROCESS OF OCALAN''

ANKARA, Nov 25 (A.A) - Premier Bulent Ecevit said on Thursday that nobody can doubt about the fairness of trial process of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization.

Ecevit responded to the questions of the journalists about the approval of the capital punishment given to Ocalan.

Ecevit told the reporters that nobody can doubt about the fairness of the trial process of Ocalan because not only the State Security Court (DGM) but also the Supreme Court gave their decisions in impartiality.

They will evaluate the developments if they face a situation within the framework of the authorities of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Ecevit noted.

When asked whether or not there is a difference in the point of view among the members of the coalition government, Ecevit stated that he does not think that there can be a difference in the point of view.

Responding a question on whether or not they will wait for the decision of the ECHR, Ecevit stressed that they do not know whether or not they will reach such a decision.

When recalled that some jurists said that it was not necessary to wait for the decision of the ECHR, Ecevit said that there can be some jurists who have different ideas.

[14] KARAA, CHAIRMAN OF JUSTICE COMMISSION: ''TURKEY MAY ACCEPT A DECISION WHICH WILL BE GIVEN BY ECHR THAT MAY ASK FOR THE SUSPENSION OF THE EXECUTION GIVEN TO OCALAN''

ANKARA, Nov 25 (A.A) - Emin Karaa, the Chairman of Parliamentary Justice Commission, said on Thursday that Turkey may accept a decision which will be given by European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), that may ask for the suspension of the execution given to Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization.

Karaa told A.A correspondent that it seems like the process is over but there is a request of the correction of the verdict.

Ocalan's lawyers had earlier applied to the ECHR, Karaa noted.

Karaa said, ''it is a matter of question that Turkey accepts the decision of the ECHR which asks for the suspension of the verdict given to Ocalan. I do not think that the dossier will be sent to the Parliamentary Justice Commission at the moment. We will continue to wait.''

''Turkey continues its path without making mistakes. There are 53 dossiers waiting at the Commission. The Justice Commission and the parliament has not approved the execution of these dossiers for 15 years. The two organs continue its path to abolish the capital punishment with determined steps. Initiatives were launced to abolish the capital punishment and to commute the capital punishment to life sentence,'' Karaa added.

Karaa stated that Ocalan led to serious damages in Turkey and the present situation continues to cause damages to Turkey.

When recalled that the Motherland Party (ANAP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) think of not waiting for the decision of the ECHR, Karaa said that this is an issue which will be discussed in the leaders summit. I do not think it will be useful to express our ideas at the moment. What is right will be done. It is a very difficult situation.''

[15] TRIAL PROCESS OF THE HEAD OF THE TERRORIST ORGANIZATION

ANKARA, Nov 25 (A.A) - Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, had been captured in Kenya on February 16, 1999 and had been brought to Turkey. Ankara State Security Court (DGM) Republican Chief Prosecutorship filed a suit with a call for capital punishment.

The hearings of the trial, which was filed on charges of ''treason'' under Article 125 of Turkish Penal Code (TCK), took place in Imrali Island starting as of May 31, 1999 without intervals.

The court delegation was composed of Chief Judge Turgut Okyay, and Huseyin Eken and Colonel Abdulkadir Davarcioglu. Ocalan, who was tried in a bullet proof glass box, said he was not subjected to any torture and that no pressure was put on him. Ocalan claimed that he wanted to live for peace and friendhip. The head of the terrorist organization also apologized from the relatives of martyrs.

Cevdet Volkan, Chief Prosecutor of Ankara DGM, and Talat Salk, Republican Prosecutor later read out the verdict composed of 139 pages.

Due to the constitutional change that regulated the structure of DGM's, Mehmet Maras, the civilian alternate member, on June 23 replaced Colonel Abdulkadir Davarcioglu, the military member of the court delegation.

Statements of the relatives of martrys, who attended the trial as intervenors, and the veterans, caused emotional moments during the trial.

Yildiz Namdar, the wife of a non-commissioned officer Murat Namdar, who made an agonizing speech said, ''they killed my husband whom I loved more than myself. I explained my feelings at the hearing.''

On the fourth day hearing of the trial, on June 3, the lawyers of Ocalan did not attend the trial with the pretext that they could not find a place to stay. A guesthouse has been found with the initiatives of the court.

Chief Judge Okyay and lawyers of the intervenors continued to pose questions in the fourth day of the hearing.

On the fourth day of the hearing, intervenor lawyers began their summing up regarding the merits of the case. All of the intervenor lawyers called for capital punishment for accused Abdullah Ocalan, under Article 125 of the Turkish Penal Code.

In the fifth day of the trial, Chief Judge, Prosecutors, and intervenor lawyers posed several questions to Ocalan.

The court delegation gave an interim decision and rejected all the demands of the lawyers of the accused regarding the widening of the investigation and adjourned the trial to June 8 to give time to prosecutors to prepare their summing up regarding the merits of the case.

In the sixth day of the trial, Cevdet Volkan, Chief Prosecutor of Ankara DGM, and Talat Salk, Republican Prosecutor, read out the summing up of accusations composed of 13 pages against the accused.

The summing up said, ''A public file was suited against accused Ocalan on April 26, 1999 to try and punish him on grounds that he aimed at giving some or whole of the territories under the sovereignity of this state to the sovereignity of another country, inverting independence of this state, or holding acts aiming to split its unity, and separate some of the territories which are under the ruling of this state. Public cases that had been opened against the accused and file of our court have been combined and extra time has been given for us to prepare our opinions regarding the merits of the case during the continous trial of Ocalan.''

''Accused Ocalan is not sincere in his defense. The armed gang did not give up its aim of forming an independent Kurdistan, which was the foundation target of the armed gang PKK. Ocalan's announcing a unitlateral ceasefire aimed to help the organization prepare itself better and to win an opportunity to make a political and diplomatic leap forward.''

In the final part of the summing up, it was said that as the crime of the accused is determined to be constant, punishment of the accused under Article 125, continuation of the arrest status, and confiscation of the goods and money, determined to be belonging to the organization were requested.

The accused and his lawyers requested time from the court to prepare their defense regarding the merits of the case.

Chief Judge Okyay said maximum period was 15 days according to the lawyers and gave 15 days period to the accused and the lawyers to make their defense regarding the merits of the case.

The hearing was adjourned to June 23, 1999.

Mehmet Maras, the civilian alternate member was also in the court delegation.

Before the entrance of the accused and his relatives in the court room, Turgut Okyay, the chief judge, ordered the secretary to read out the minutes of the court, noting that Mehmet Maras, the civilian alternate member followed the trial since its begining.

Later, Ocalan was given the right to speak to defend himself. Ocalan started his words by saying, ''Mr. Chief Judge and dear members,'' adding that he prepared the written summary of his defense.

Ocalan said he undertook the responsibility of what has been done so far. Accused Ocalan said that his defense was not legal, but political.

In the summing up of accusations against accused Ocalan, the prosecutors of DGM no:2 asked for the capital punishment of Ocalan under Article 125 of TCK while lawyers of accused Ocalan requested their client to be punished in accordance with the Article 168/1 of TCK which is about the formation of an armed gang. Layers of accused Ocalan also requested implementation of Article 59 of TCK envisaging reductionof punishment.

Ankara DGM no:2 on June 29 sentenced Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the terrorist organization, to capital punishment on charges of ''treason'' under Article 125 of Turkish Penal Code and ruled out that application of Article 59 of the TCK which envisages reduction in punishment, is not appropriate to implement on the accused.

Ankara DGM also decided to ban the accused from the public services throughout his life under Article 31 of TCK.

The lawyers of the accused appealed the capital punishment sentence given by Ankara DGM against Ocalan.

Vural Savas, Chief Prosecutor of Supreme Court, wanted the verdict to be ratified.

The Supreme Court Criminal Department No:9 unanimously approved on Thursday the capital punishment given to Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK.

The Supreme Court Criminal Department No: 9 has ruled that the capital punishment given to Ocalan by the Ankara State Security Court (DGM) No: 2 was fair.

[16] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM IN SWEDEN

STOCKHOLM, Nov 25 (A.A) - Ismail Cem, the Foreign Minister, who is holding contacts in Swedish capital Stockholm, met on Thursday with Viola Frubjelke, the Chairperson of Foreign Affairs Commission of the Swedish Parliament.

The meeting focused on Turkey's candidacy to the European Union (EU), the Cyprus question, and the human rights.

The approval of capital punishment given to Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, was also brought onto agenda of the meeting.

Frubjelke called on Turkey not to carry out execution.

Cem told the Swedish officials that the verdict of the independent juristiction could not be discussed.

Cem also stressed that foreign interference could not be accepted to this end.

Ismail Cem is expected to proceed to Brussels after meeting with his Swedish counterpart Anna Lindh.

He is scheduled to meet with Javier Solana, the Representative of the EU for Foreign Policy and Joint Defense, and the Secretary General of the Western European Union (WEU).

He will also attend dinner hosted by Gunter Verheugen, the member of the EU Commission responsible for enlargement.

Cem will leave Brussels on Friday morning for Denmark.

[17] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES OF CENTRAL BANK DECREASE TO 23.4 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS

ANKARA, Nov 25 (A.A) - The foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank decreased to 23 billion 407 million U.S. dollars.

The Central Bank data shows that the foreign exchange reserves, which reduced by 391 million U.S. dollars between 12-19 November, decreased to 23 billion 407 million U.S. dollars as of 19 November.

The Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves were 23 billion 783 million U.S. dollars on 12 November.

Meanwhile, according to the 5 November-based statistics, Turkey's total international gross reserves increased 152 million U.S. dollars to 37 billion 315 million U.S. dollars between October 28 and November 5.

The international gross reserves of Turkey were 37 billion 163 million U.S. dollars on 28 October.

As of 5 November, Turkey's international reserves were composed of 1 billion 11 million U.S. dollars in gold reserves; 24 billion 544 million U.S. dollars in the Central Bank's foreign exchange reserves; and 11 billion 760 million U.S. dollars in the commercial banks' foreign exchange reserves.

[18] ERSUMER, ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES MINISTER: - ''WE WILL SET UP AN ACTION GROUP TO FULFIL THE AGREEMENTS ON BAKU-CEYHAN PIPELINE PROJECT''

ANKARA, Nov 25 (A.A) - Cumhur Ersumer, the Energy and Natural Resources Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, said on Thursday that they will set up an action group to fulfil the agreements on Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline Project.

Responding the questions of the journalists, Ersumer noted that the agreement foresees starting the Baku-Ceyhan project on January 1, 2000 and start pumping oil in April 2004.

The project will be implemented in four stages, including basic engineering, advanced engineering, providing field and construction; Ersumer noted.

Ersumer stated that efforts to allocate finance will be intensified while the engineering works continue.

When asked how the tension between Russia and Chechnya will affect the Blue Stream Project, Ersumer stressed that there is not any tension between Turkey and Russia.

Ersumer added that the discussions on the status of the Caspian Sea will not affect the Turkmenistan-Turkey natural gas pipeline project.

[19] FOREIGN DEBT PAYMENTS - 11.4 BILLION U.S. DOLLARS PAID IN FOREIGN DEBT SINCE JANUARY 1, 1999

ANKARA, Nov 25 (A.A) - Turkey has repaid a total of 11 billion 380.05 million U.S. dollars of foreign debt since the beginning of this year.

The Central Bank data shows that the Treasury paid 9 billion 890.06 million U.S. dollars; the Central Bank repaid 360.21 million U.S. dollars; the Ministry of National Defense and the Defense Industry paid 725.78 million U.S. dollars and the Defense Fund paid 18.96 million U.S. dollars in foreign debt between January 1 and November 24, 1999.

Meanwhile, a total of 1 billion 314.76 million U.S. dollars of foreign debt was repaid between November 1 and 24.

[20] U.N. RAPPORTEUR DUE TO TURKEY

NEW YORK, Nov 25 (A.A) - Abdulfettah Amor, the U.N. Human Rights Commision religious intolerance rapporteur, will visit Turkey on December 1-9, 1999 upon the invitation of Turkish Government.

Amor is scheduled to visit southeastern Midyat and Mardin, as well as Ankara and Istanbul to hold contacts.

The U.N. officials said Amor will hold contacts with clerics, representatives of religious minorities, and non-governmental organizations.

Amor will prepare a report following his 9-day visit to Turkey. The report will firstly be submitted to U.N. Human Rights commission based in Geneva, and later to the U.N. General Assembly in New York. The report in question may be discussed in 55th U.N. General Assembly in September in the year 2000.

The U.N. with a declaration adopted in the year 1981, foresees abolishing of every kind of discrimination and intolerance in religion and beliefs.

The U.N. rapporteurs assigned on religious intolerance visit various countries within the framework of a routine visit program and prepare reports.

Meanwhile, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) reacted as Greek Cypriot allegations were included in the ''U.N. religious intolerance report'' which was prepared in previous period.

Aytug Plumer, TRNC New York Representative, sent a letter to the U.N. Secretary General and General Assembly Chairman, and expressed regret that Greek Cypriot allegations which claim barbarous actions were staged on Greek Cypriot churches, were esteemed.

Plumer said, ''on the contrary to the allegations, Islamic worship places and religious installations were targetted during ethnic cleansing campaign which Greek Cypriots carried out against Turkish Cypriots in 1963 and 1974. In the following period mosques, moslem theological schools, and similar religious places in Southern Cyprus, were devastated because of lack of care and interest.''

Plumer pointed out that arson attack against Hala Sultan mosque on August 29, 1999 was the latest example of Greek Cypriot attacks against places sacred for muslims and Turkish Cypriots.

[21] STATE MINISTER ONAL: ''THE GENERAL FRAMEWORK OF THE AGREEMENT TO BE SIGNED WITH IMF WILL NOT BE DIFFERENT FROM THE AGREEMENT WE REACHED ON JULY 2, 1999''

ANKARA, Nov 25 (A.A) - State Minister Recep Onal said on Thursday that the general framework of the agreement to be signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will not be different from the agreement they reached on July 2, 1999.

The budget of the Treasury Undersecretariat was adopted at the Parliamentary Planning and Budget Commission.

Speaking at the commission meeting, Onal said that they committed to decrease the inflation to 25 percent in 2000 and to ten percent in 2001.

They have taken some measures like implementing the structural reforms and providing the budget discipline to decrease the inflation, Onal noted.

A total of 3.5 billion U.S. dollars finance will be provided from the IMF between 1999 and 2001, Onal stated.

Onal stressed that thus, Turkey's foreign currency reserves will reach 30 billion U.S. dollars and her rating in the international markets will increase.

As the proportion of domestic borrowing stock to the Gross National Product (GNP) is decreased from 27 percent to 24 percent, the real interests and inflation will fall and the balance of income will be ensured; Onal emphasized.

Onal added that the amendment on Banking Law which will transfer the authority of his ministry and Council of Ministers to the Supreme Banking Board will be submitted to the Council of Ministers in one or two days.

[22] AMOUNT OF IMF LOAN CAN BE INCREASED TO SIX BILLION U.S. DOLLARS

ANKARA, Nov 25 (A.A)- The amount of the loan which will be taken from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can be increased to six billion U.S. dollars in the IMF Executive Directors' Board meeting.

The officials told A.A correspondent on Thursday that the technical delegation headed by Carlo Cottarelli, the Chief of IMF Turkey Desk, does not have authority about the loan which will be given to Turkey.

The amount of the loan which will be given to Turkey cannot become definite until the Executive Directors' meeting which will be held on December 22, 1999; the officials said.

The officials noted that the IMF will deposit 3.5 billion U.S. dollars to the Central Bank within the framework of the Special Drawal Right (SDR).

The IMF currency in the Central Bank can be transfered to the Treasury in return of the Treasury bond which will be given to the Central Bank by the Treasury, the officials stated.

The officials stressed that this money will be used in the economy policy except the balance of payments.

The new-term works for the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) between Turkey and World Bank will start next week, the officials emphasized.

The officials pointed out that the financial support will be provided from the World Bank for the following three-year projects of Turkey.

Turkey plans receiving three billion U.S. dollar loan from the World Bank for three-year period within the framework of CAS, the officials said.

The officials added that the total financial support of the IMF and World Bank to Turkey will reach ten billion U.S. dollars in three years.

[23] FM CEM:''TURKEY IS BORED OF EU'S EXTENSION OF DECLARING HER CANDIDACY STATUS''

STOCKHOLM, Nov 25 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem said on Thursday that Turkey is bored of EU's extension of declaring her candidacy status.

Responding to questions of journalists after meeting with Swedish Foreign Minister Annan Lindh, Cem stated that Turkey's approach about her candidacy to the EU is clear, adding ''positive developments will continue irrespective of declaration of Turkey's candidacy.''

Cem said that he explained Turkey's concerns and approach in his meeting with his Swedish counterpart, and added that they exchanged views about regional issues and the developments in Caucasus.

They also reached a consensus of opinion about establishment of a consultation mechanism at the level of undersecretariat between

Turkish and Swedish Foreign ministries, Cem said.

The commerical relations between the two countries were also taken up in the meeting, said Cem and added that the trade balance between the two countres is to the disadvantage of Turkey and this has to be prevented. Cem stressed that they also want to improve relations in the tourism filed.

Cem, who concluded his official contacts in Sweden, left for Brussels.

[24] SWEDEN SEEMS SOFTER ON ISSUE OF TURKEY'S CANDIDACY TO EU

STOCKHOLM, Nov 25 (A.A) - Sweden which is known by her hesitant approach to declaration of Turkey's candidacy at Helsinki summit, started to become softer on this issue.

Responding to questions of journalists after meeting with Foreign Minister Ismail Cem on Tuesday, Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh said that Sweden wants to see Turkey as a candidate state at Helsinki summit. Lindh added that they are more optimistic about Turkey's candidacy when compared to the past.

Pointing out that certain positive steps were taken in the field of human rights and democracy in Turkey, the Swedish Foreign Minister said that they expect these reforms to continue.

Lindh said that she hopes the Turkish parliament not to approve the death sentence of head terrorist Abdullah Ocalan and added that Turkey should lift capital punishment as a candidate country.

Responding to a question about Cyprus question, Lindh said that they evaluate the indirect talks to be held in New York as a step taken in the positive way.

Describing her meeting with Cem as ''positive and constructive,'' Lindh said that they focused on human rights and democratization in the meeting.

Meanwhile Cem gave copies of Kurdish books published in Turkey and also music CDs and tapes in Kurdish to his counterpart to give her the message that there is freedom of expression and thought in Turkey.

[25] TRNC PRESIDENT DENKTAS: ''MY COUNTERPART WILL BE ANNAN IN NEW YORK''

LEFKOSA, Nov 25 (A.A) - Rauf Denktas, the President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Thursday that his counterpart will be Kofi Annan, the U.N. Secretary General during the indirect talks in New York.

Denktas said that he is not in a position to ''waste his breath'' with the coordinators of the countries which are interested in the Cyprus issue.

Denktas noted that he sent messages to those coordinators not to ask him for appointment in New York.

''I am going to New York to meet only with the U.N. Secretary General. If the coordinators of those countries want to say something, they can talk to my assistants. The coordinators don't have the right to propose anything to us,'' he said.

TRNC President Denktas stressed that he will go to New York not to make any bargaining on TRNC, but to provide its full equality.

If common points can be found during the indirect talks, they can meet face to face with Clerides, said Denktas and added that he is not going to New York to solve the issue in 10 days, but to see whether or not they can prepare a basis for the solution of the problem.

TRNC President Denktas said that he didn't hear anything about Maras issue, adding some people cause such rumours to upset the atmosphere.

[26] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM MEETS WITH WEU SECRETARY GENERAL SOLANA

BRUSSELS, Nov 25 (A.A) - Foreign Minister Ismail Cem met on Thursday with Javier Solona, the top foreign affairs representative of the EU and Secretary General of the West European Union.

Before the meeting, Cem said that he had a friendly and constructive meeting with Swedish Foreign Minister in Sweden.

When foreign journalists asked Cem whether he was hopeful about official confirmation of Turkey's candidacy to the EU at Helsinki summit or not, Cem said that he is not the one who will decide on the issue.

Upon questions about Abdullah Ocalan, the head of terrorist organization PKK, Cem said that he was Foreign Minister, not Justice Minister.

After the meeting, Cem said that they evaluated certain issues with Solona. Later Cem met with Gunther Verheugen, the EU Commissioner for enlargement.

[27] FOREIGN MINISTER CEM MEETS WITH SOLONA

BRUSSELS, Nov 25 (A.A) - Christina Gallach, the Spokesman of Javier Solona, the EU Top Representative for Foreign Affairs and Common Defense, said on Thursday that Solona conveyed the EU's disappointment with the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeals about the head terrorist Ocalan to Foreign Minister Ismail Cem.

Gallach said that Solona stressed the great importance the EU attached to the abolition of the death penalty in his meeting with Cem. Solona also noted in the meeting that the EU wants and expects all candidate countries to abolish this punishment from its laws.

Solona, who asked Cem the ways of overcoming the problem in near future, also pointed out to the difficulty of a country, which didn't abolish death penalty, to join the Union.

''The negative or positive steps that will be taken by Turkey about death penalty will have repercussions on Helsinki Summit'' was Solona's message to Cem.

Solona also noted the concerns of Turkey about the European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI) and promised that WEU will be transparent towards non-EU European NATO allies.

[28] TURKISH-BRITISH BUSINESS COUNCIL CONFERENCE - BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BLAIR: ''TURKEY IS ONE OF BRITAIN'S PRIOR TARGET MARKETS''

LONDON, Nov 25 (A.A) - The British Prime Minister Tony Blair called both Turkish and British businessmen to improve their relations on Thursday.

Speaking in the conference held by the Turkish-British Business Council, Nick Raynsford, the British Minister responsible for urbanization, planning, environment and transportation, said that the British government and the private sector want to help Turkey in healing the wounds of the two quake disasters.

The relations between Turkish and British businessmen are very good, Raynsford said and added that when these relations are further improved, the two countries will be strategical partners of each other.

Raynsford stressed that he brought a message from British Prime Minister Tony Blair and said that Blair stressed that Turkey was an important target market for Britain. Blair also wishes businessmen of the two countries to launch efforts to further improve commercial relations, Raynsford said.

Raynsford ended his speech calling British businessmen to trust the atmosphere in Turkey which is convenient for foreign investors and to engage in more investments in Turkey.

[29] A.A


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